Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

9/21/2006

Authentic community

At his blog World of Your Making the Rev. Rick Lord cites a Duke University study that shows how isolated we are becoming as a culture. sharing the peace on Ash WednesdayA Washington Post article on the study states,

A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985. Overall, the number of people Americans have in their closest circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two.

The comprehensive new study paints a sobering picture of an increasingly fragmented America, where intimate social ties—once seen as an integral part of daily life and associated with a host of psychological and civic benefits—are shrinking or nonexistent. In bad times, far more people appear to suffer alone.
Of this, Rick Lord writes,
exchanging the peace at King of Peacea central aspect of God's dream for the human race is authentic community, and God has created and called the Church to make that happen. God’s dream is to form a people, an inclusive community of young, old, rich and poor, as a visible sign of God’s loving reign in the world today.
fellowship after churchLord's full blog entry Living the Vision - Shaping the Future is worth a read. What do you think about how the churches you know live into this ideal of creating that intentional community for each other. The Bible says a lot about how we should treat one another. You can read those here. As Rick Lord asks, "How would we do church differently to make such connections a reality?"

In the archives are the religion columns,
Build a sense of community in church
and
Why a non-believer may want a church

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church

3 Comments:

  • At 9/21/2006 9:33 AM, Blogger Rick Lord+ said…

    Frank,

    Thanks for the link and for your additonal links on community,

    Rick+

     
  • At 9/21/2006 3:39 PM, Anonymous William said…

    I also believe that the responsibility is our own. We have the community we choose to create. If we want our congregation to be a place where people are loved, accepted and encouraged, a place where they feel safe to peel off the mask, then we need to be part of the solution.

    Each congregation is as different as each faith tradition with different values, beliefs and traditions. I have been to some congregations of a fairly liberal and accepting denomination that I thought would be warm and welcoming but were instead cold isolationists simply getting their Sunday morning fix. I have also been with congregations that appeared friendly but were seething with anger and back-biting. For the record, I stayed with both.

    Fortunately, church can be more than a surrogate family. It is family in the truest (if not most literal) meaning of the word.

     
  • At 9/23/2006 1:00 AM, Blogger Robert Christian said…

    I will agree with everything said.
    For the last month I've had some stomach issues. I was in and out of the emergency room test and test and more test (nothing so far, Amen). Luckily, I moved home to help out my parents several years back so I have them, for now to help when things like this come up. Then I talked to a teacher colleague who is in her early 50's and also single. We both talked about being involved in our churches, socially active at school etcc but when your sick your alone. This made me think what do people do in these circumstances? What is the churches role? What about the sick? the shut ins? support for caretakers? regular visits from people? how do we monitor needs, address needs?
    What other people might be in need? Single people? People in need of say a support group? Ladies who want to get out of the house or women who are working and need a support group? So many pastoral issues for the whole parish to address and not be the sole burden of the clergy.
    I sometimes think we pay the clergy to pray for us, to care for other for us, to be the sole teacher.
    Laity has to learn it has a role too.

    I haven't read all the information on the listed links but I'm so happy to see someone talking about this. If we are to grow we need to think about these issues.

    God's peace, and please excuse the rambling. I really was happy to see this subject in print.

    Bob

    Ps. I'm reading a book called "The Power of Asset Mapping: How Your Congregation Can Act on Its Gifts No. AL284 by Luther K. Snow."
    It is aobut realizing our talents and gifts and making the best use of them. Just an idea to share.

     

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